According to Coca-Cola’s website “people enjoy nearly 1.6 billion servings of our products” every day. That is certainly nice for Coca-Cola. They must be making lots of money. Good for them! There is certainly nothing wrong with that in itself, but just think about that number for a moment.
1.6 billion empty cans and plastic bottles EVERY DAY!
So, after you have finished your refreshing drink and you are standing there with an empty can or plastic bottle in your hand, what do you, and everyone else, now do with those 1.6 billion empty cans and plastic bottles? Yes, all those people who now want to get rid of those 1.6 billion empty cans and plastic bottles, what do they do every day, 365 days per year, year after year, decade after decade? What happens to all those empties?
If you do the “right thing” and put your empties in a bin then those will end up in the environment as land fill. (Yes they are STILL in the environment – it is just that they are buried in the ground so nobody sees them.) Many though are thoughtlessly thrown away to eventually find their way into bushland, rivers, lakes and the sea. Once in the environment a plastic bottle is a killer that takes over 100 years to breakdown. (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UM73CEvwMY)
In Australia there is a push going on for a National Container Deposit Scheme. Basically, you pay 10 cents more for your Coke, but this is refunded when the empty bottle or can is returned for recycling. South Australia has had such a system for 30 years now and between 75-85% of the cans and bottles in that State are returned for recycling. To put it another way, because of the 10 cent deposit, 75-85% of the empty cans and bottles in South Australia DO NOT END UP IN THE ENVIRONMENT. Other states, including Victoria, recover only around 35%, ie only 35% of cans and bottles do not end up in the environment – so 65% do! That is a huge difference!
Coca-Cola is fighting in the courts to prevent the 10 cent deposit system from happening. Why would this super rich company do this? How do you feel about it? Do you care? Should Australia have a National Container Deposit Scheme?
You can read more here about the actions being taken http://www.cleanup.org.au/au/Whatelsewesupport/why-do-we-need-a-container-deposit-legislation-.html